Girl Stands Up for Herself


Stand up for yourself; don't be afraid to speak out

In Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, Melinda learns that she can't be afraid to speak out and has to learn to stand up for herself. "It happened. There is no avoiding it, no forgetting. No running away, or flying, or burying, or hiding." This quote showed that Melinda realized that no matter what she did, what happened to her wouldn't leave her and that she would have to face it, and that's what she did. This quote shows how she realized that she needed to stand up to people instead of being afraid. Another quote that showed Melinda overcoming her fear was, "I am not going to think about it. It was ugly, but it's over, and I'm not going to think about it." This showed that Melinda wasn't going to let the past events in her life haunt her. She was going to get rid of them by leaving them behind. Melinda's story is very similar to Callie's in the book, Cut by Patricia McCormick. In Cut, Callie is a girl who cuts herself but overcomes it and faces her problems, rather than running away from them.

Melinda overcomes her fears and problems with hope, strength, and the help of her friends.


"When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time." -Laurie Halse Anderson

What is this book about?

Speak is about a girl named Melinda. Over the summer, she went to a party with her friends and something happened there. So she called the cops, not knowing what to do. Because of that, the next school year, Melinda was shunned by all of her classmates. All of this traumatized Melinda into not speaking. The rest of the book is how she overcame her fears and faced her problems head on, instead of running away from them.

Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson has written quite a few books other than Speak like, Chains, Wintergirls, Twisted, Catalyst, The Vet Volunteer series, and many more. Speak has won many awards. Those include, 1999 National Book Award Finalist, 1999 BCCB Blue Ribbon Book, 2000 SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Fiction, 2000 Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of the Year, 2000 ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 2000 Printz Honor Book, 2000 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults, 2000 Fiction Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2000 Edgar Allan Poe Best Young Adult Award Finalist, 2001 New York Times Paperback Children's Best Seller, and 2005 New York Times Paperback Children's Best Seller.